31 January 2008

EU stamps out non rubber

Yesterday, the President of the [European] Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, asked for, and was granted, arbitrary powers to suspend the rules of the institution in order to disadvantage the tiny number of MEPs who want a referendum on the European Constitution Lisbon Treaty.

I have come to expect hypersensitivity to criticism, flouting of rules, intolerance of dissent, authoritarianism. But nothing had prepared me for such blatancy.

Hans-Gert openly admitted that the behaviour of his Euro-sceptic opponents was within the rules. And he wasn’t asking to change those rules – a procedure that would take time. No, he simply wanted permission to disregard them. Permission was duly granted, by 20 committee votes to 3.

[…] the shocking thing about their behaviour is not that they are trying to silence their critics, nor even that they are breaking the rules – after all, they are doing so on a much grander scale by reviving the constitution following two “No? votes. No, the breath-taking aspect of the whole business is that they haven’t troubled to hide the illegality of what they’re doing. They’ve happily put it all on paper.

Daniel Hannan, MEP, via No Pasaran

See, this is what’s wrong with American democracy — people disagree. That complete stifling of any dissent is what makes the EUlite so much better than our ruling class.

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Those numbers all look alike to me

The Boston Globe has just run an op-ed […] The bias of the op-ed speaks for itself, and I won’t even dwell on it. But I do want to call attention to this sentence:
Although Gaza daily requires 680,000 tons of flour to feed its population, Israel had cut this to 90 tons per day by November 2007, a reduction of 99 percent.
You don’t need to be a math genius to figure out that if Gaza has a population of 1.5 million, as the authors also note, then 680,000 tons of flour a day come out to almost half a ton of flour per Gazan, per day. […] an absurd and impossible “statistic” has made its way up the media feeding chain. It begins in an Egyptian newspaper, is cycled through a Palestinian activist, is submitted under the shared byline of a Harvard “research scholar,” and finally appears in the Boston Globe, whose editors apparently can’t do basic math. Now, in a viral contagion, this spreads across the Internet, where that “reduction of 99 percent” becomes a well-attested fact.

Martin Kramer

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27 January 2008


In response to Palestinians celebrating the 2001 Al Qaeda attacks on the USA, Yassir Arafat faked donating blood as a counter measure to offset the bad publicity. It was, of course, faked with the full cooperation of Old Media.

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No pain, no gain

BUT THEN AGAIN! Maybe Hillary re-launches her campaign with a “Hubby Souljah” moment. How many Americans would rise up and cheer if she just slapped the fool?

Just One Minute

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26 January 2008

Confirming the obvious

Via Hot Air


Jim A. Kuypers, assistant professor of communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, reveals a disturbing world of media bias in his new book Bush’s War: Media Bias and Justifications for War in a Terrorist Age (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2006).

Convincingly and without resorting to partisan politics, Kuypers strongly illustrates in eight chapters “how the press failed America in its coverage on the War on Terror.? In each comparison, Kuypers “detected massive bias on the part of the press.? In fact, Kuypers calls the mainstream news media an “anti-democratic institution? in the conclusion.

“What has essentially happened since 9/11 has been that Bush has repeated the same themes, and framed those themes the same whenever discussing the War on Terror,? said Kuypers, who specializes in political communication and rhetoric. “Immediately following 9/11, the mainstream news media (represented by CBS, ABC, NBC, USA Today, New York Times, and Washington Post) did echo Bush, but within eight weeks it began to intentionally ignore certain information the president was sharing, and instead reframed the president’s themes or intentionally introduced new material to shift the focus.?


This goes beyond reporting alternate points of view. “In short,? Kupyers explained, “if someone were relying only on the mainstream media for information, they would have no idea what the president actually said. It was as if the press were reporting on a different speech.?

Honestly, I haven’t noticed this so much because I had long previously disregarded Old Media reporting on such subjects. I found it far better to go online, because webloggers, unlike the reality based community, likes to link to original sources to avoid this kind of transcription bias.

I thought I would also mention that I think that, once again, there’s little deliberateness in this kind of thing. I would bet money that most (if not virtually all) of the people who do this kind of misleading reporting do so because this is really what they hear, being unable to process information in way other than matching it to their pre-formed narrative. Every experience I have with journalists in real life encourages me to believe that they are really that mentally incompetent.

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Couldn't they have touched that up better?

Via Hot Air

Old Media conspires with disinformation from Hamas yet again.

The Hamas legislators pretend to suffer from a power outage, while you can see that it’s daytime by the light coming in the curtained window and open door. The orginal caption on this picture from Time read

The Israeli embargo has left the Gaza Strip without electricity. To emphasize its plight the Palestinian Parliament met by candlelight on Tuesday.

Not technically wrong, but a tad misleading, I would say.

UPDATE: The original caption actually did read “Tuesday night”, but was silently ‘corrected’ later.

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When we use a word ...

Via WizBang via The Horse’s Mouth

CNN has told top Dem strategists James Carville, Paul Begala, and Robert Zimmerman — who are CNN mainstays but are all Hillary supporters — that they will not be doing any more political analysis on the network until the Democratic primary has reached a conclusion. […]

Sam Feist, CNN’s political director, also confirmed the decision to me. “As we got closer to the voting, we made a decision to make sure that all the analysts that are on are non-aligned,” Feist said, adding that the decision had been made around the start of December. “Carville and Begala are two of the best analysts around and we look forward to seeing them on CNN plenty of times in the future, once the nominating process has ended.”

“Non-aligned” meaning “aligned with the Democratic Party”.

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14 January 2008

Like a villian from one of his own movies

When the news of the child’s1 whereabouts broke Mr. Stone went away spitting mad, not at his FARC heroes, who had been exposed as child abusers, but at Mr. Uribe and Mr. Bush. Of the FARC he said, “Grabbing hostages is the fashion in which they can finance themselves and try to achieve their goals, which are difficult. I think they are heroic to fight for what they believe in and die for it, as was Castro in the hills of Cuba.”

— [source]

So why doesn’t Stone volunteer to be kidnapped to help with FARC funding? Because no one would pay to get him back?

1 The son of Clara Rojas, whose mother was kidnapped by FARC in 2002.

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Just not serious

A survey of travel habits has revealed that the most environmentally conscious people are also the biggest polluters.

“Green” consumers have some of the biggest carbon footprints because they are still hooked on flying abroad or driving their cars while their adherence to the green cause is mostly limited to small gestures.

Identified as “eco-adopters?, they are most likely to be members of an environmental organisation, buy green products such as detergents, recycle and have a keen interest in green issues.

But the survey of 25,000 people, by the market research company Target Group Index, found that eco-adopters are seven per cent more likely than the general population to take flights, and four per cent more likely to own a car. The survey found similar trends in France and the United States.

— [source, source

Now we see the hypocrisy embedded in the system.

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It's about us, not you

A Muslim police officer given bacon and wine as a Secret Santa gift decided to treat it as a harmless if tasteless joke. But a non-Muslim colleague failed to show the same level of tolerance.

The officer who supplied the gift, 26-year-old PC Rob Murrie, was reported to his superiors for racism.

And PC Murrie subsequently came under such pressure that he felt he had no option but to resign from the Bedfordshire force.


Yesterday, the target of the joke, 31-year-old Arshad Mahmood, said he still regarded PC Murrie as “a good officer and a good friend”, while Muslim community leaders accused police chiefs of “overreacting” to the incident at Luton police station. [emphasis added]

— [source, Hot Air]

Here we see the true dimension of political correctness, where everyone except the ruling class is dehumanized. Even the “victim” and local Muslim community see this as an over reaction, but who cares about them? Not their putative protectors.

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13 January 2008

Clearly they need outside experts to tell the difference

That article I and others criticized by Bernd Debusmann for taking dictation from The Violence Policy Center seems to have disappeared. It has now re-appeared here with the caveat: Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own

Heh. First, it was news. Now it’s opinion. Funny that.

As if Old Media didn’t consider its opinions news.

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09 January 2008

Petard Watch

One of the examples for voters who couldn’t vote because of the Indiana photo ID law turns out to be registered to vote in more than one state and was therefore legitimately prevented. Of course, Joanne Evers, president of the ILWV said […] it doesn’t diminish the opposition’s case. Clearly not, since the opposition was never based on facts or reality in the first place.


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08 January 2008

Source rules

Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush teared up at the pain of others. Ms Clinton teared up at her own. Thereby lies the entire tale.

Orrin Judd

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07 January 2008

And your friends

Let me see if I understand this - John Edwards and the Krugman Democrats want to negotiate with the Iranians and North Koreans but not the drug companies or health insurers.

Well, as long as we are clear who the bad guys are.

Just One Minute

Party of Death.

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06 January 2008

Defining leaks away

(2008-01-06) — After years of working together informally, The New York Times and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) today publicly announced the launch of a joint effort dubbed ‘Overt Operations, Pakistan Sector’.

The revelation comes on a day when the Times reported that the Bush administration may expand anti-terrorist activities in tribal areas of Pakistan, near the Afghanistan border, according to unnamed sources present at a top-secret briefing Friday.

“Overt operations,? an anonymous Agency source explained, “are similar to the better known covert operations — very top secret, hush-hush and all that — except that we publish details about our plans in advance through the New York Times out of a sense of fairness and compassion toward the folks from al Qaeda.?

By creating this formal partnership, the CIA hopes to reduce the likelihood that anyone on its staff or in the State Department could be charged with treason for revealing national security secrets to the enemy in time of war.


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04 January 2008

It's a lesson for those who still respect reality

It’s worth noting that even more damaging evidence about the wildly inflated count of Iraqi civilian deaths from the Lancet has come to light, much of which would have been easily discovered early on had the content of the report not been “too good to check” for Old Media. It’s unreasonable to expect Old Media to learn anything from this, but we should learn something about Old Media’s accuracy and reliability.

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